This is an extensive guide that tries to help you to make the right choices for Railjack upgrades. The guide separates different functionality according to its use and uses analogies from the warframe mod upgrades to better explain railjack enhancements.
You can jump straight in each of the main topics:
- Avionics upgrade process & best builds
- Best mandatory integrated avionics
- Components upgrades, random wreckage and inventory space
- Armament upgrades, wreckage and inventory
- Understanding Payload
- Intrinsics and best ranks
- Recommended boosters
- Best Railjack upgrade strategy
Avionics upgrade process & best builds
We start our guide with the Avionics section which is the third button from the left on your railjack upgrade interface. Avionics are basically mods for your railjack. They can influence shield, hull, health, weapon and many more defense parameters.
The avionics interface shows your current stats on the left side. To the right you can add your 9 Integrated avionics that provide passive buffs to your railjack similar to warframe mods.
There are also 3 free slots for each Batte and Tactical avionics on the lower left and right. On the bottom of the interface you will find two big buttons and a small one: Grid, Avionics and Scrap.
The first one, GRID, will bring you to the grid socket upgrade interface. This is where you can provide additional buffs to equipped avionics. More on that later.
The other button is AVIONICS that will bring you to your avionics collection. It is similar to browsing your mods in your mod station.
The last button SCRAP is a bit hard to spot on the lower right. It will bring you to an interface that allows you to convert your surplus avionics into Dirac; Dirac is the endo of railjack.
You can rank up avionics similar to your warframe or weapon mods. Dirac is the resource you need to rank up avionics and it will drop in railjack missions. You can also get Dirac from
dissolving scrap unused avionics similar to selling mods in your mods station for endo.
Avionic House variants and ranks
Before we start equipping avionics you need to understand the different house variants of the same avionic and what ranking up means.
Each avionic can belong to multiple houses and this influences how many upgrades or ranks an avionic can receive. It is similar to the concept of a damaged mod, a normal mod and a primed mod. And just like the warframe mod system: the higher the rank the more drain from your avionics capacity is needed – identical to mod capacity.
Sigma avionics are the basic type of avionics, similar to damaged mods and can receive only 1 rank. There is nothing wrong with equipping and ranking up a sigma avionic early on. But they should be replaced fast.
There are three house variants for each avionic. House avionics can have 1, 4 or 7 ranks. But contrary to traditional Warframe mods avionic ranks do not correspond with the drain. The 3 houses are:
House Lavan, House Vidar, House Zetki
Remember those icons because they are used all over the place. The icons are also the best way to distinguish between the houses.
To better illustrate the difference between house variants, let us at the Bulkhead avionic – increase your railjack’s health – as an example. To make things more digestible, we just focus only on the max rank of each avionic. R1 means rank 1, R2 means rank 2 and so on:
- Bulkhead, Sigma: R1 +36% railjack health
- Bulkhead, House Lavan: R1 +48% railjack health
- Bulkhead, House Vidar: R4 +160% railjack health
- Bulkhead, House Zetki: R7 +368% railjack health
As you can see the Sigma variant of Bulkhead can only achieve one rank. House Lavan Bulkhead is also limited to one rank but has a higher increase in health for your railjack. The House Vidar variant of Bulkhead can go up 4 ranks and increase your railjack’s health by 160%. The House Zetki variant can rank up to rank 7 and provides an almost 370% health increase.
The name of the avionic is always the same but effectiveness varies by the house it belongs to. That is a completely new system of upgrades in Warframe.
With Bulkhead it is easy to spot the progression but things get murkier with other avionics. Let us look at the Conic Nozzle avionic – railjack speed – that has no Sigma variant but 3 different house variants. Here are all 3 max rank variants.
- Conic Nozzle, House Lavan: R7 +18.4% railjack speed
- Conic Nozzle, House Vidar: R1 +4% railjack speed
- Conic Nozzle, House Zetki: R4 +12% railjack speed
In this case House Lavan is the one that provides the biggest increase but also the biggest drain on the avionics capacity.
Before we get to an additional buff for your avionics there is one more tip for you. At the moment there is only a tiny icon that allows you to differentiate between house variants of the same avionic.
Best look for the possible max rank on each avionic. That will be displayed as small diamond shaped icons under the avionic symbol.
Buff avionics further with Railjack grid upgrades
The slots avionics are placed in are called grid sockets. You have 9 integrated grid sockets, 3 battle grid sockets and 3 tacticals grid sockets. Each of these grid sockets can be ranked up 3 times. Each rank on your grid socket will act as an additional avionics rank but will not cost any drain. They are basically free ranks but you have to invest in grid socket updates for all available sockets.
Updating a grid socket to rank 1 costs 200 dirac, to rank 2 600 dirac and finally to rank 3 1800 dirac. A full rank 3 grid socket upgrade will set you back 2600 dirac – for each socket. But a fully upgraded grid socket will turn a rank 7 (R7) avionic into a rank 10 (R10).
You can access the upgrade section for your grid by using the GRID button at the bottom of the interface. Once there, you can upgrade any one grid socket by holding the left mouse button on that socket. Remaining dirac will be shown the left. When you have finished your work use the big Stop Upgrading button.
Rank up avionics in practice
The number of possible ranks an avionic can have is denoted by the small diamonds below the avionic symbol. A diamond that is filled completely shows that it is ranked up and a diamond that is not filled out shows that it is not ranked up.
To perform a rank up you have to choose the AVIONICS button on the bottom of the screen. You will see all currently not-equipped avionics. Simply hold the left mouse button over the avionic of your choice to rank it up a single rank. Repeat as many times as you like but keep in mind that each rank requires increases the drain on your avionics capacity. – The higher the rank, the better the avionic and the higher the drain.
You can sort by houses and or name. I would highly recommend to search by name because it allows you to immediately spot the avionic variant that allows for the most rank ups.
Equip avionics & remove unwanted avionics
Equipping your avionics can be done in you avionics interface. Just click on an empty grid slot and you can choose what avionics should go into that particular slot. There is a small number at the right of the avionic that denotes its drain on the capacity.
Removing an avionic from the grid is done by right clicking on it.
Over time your avionic collection will get big and convoluted. To clean things up and to get some free Dirac you need to scrap avionics. You remember the SCRAP button in the lower right of your avionics interface? We now use it and get an overview of all owned avionics.
The interface that allows you to choose your avionics will contain every avionic you currently own including rank up and all house variants. Make sure you do not accidentally pick the wrong one.
Once you hit the Scrap button you can choose which avionics to scrap. In the upper left corner of each avionic the number of duplicates is displayed. Any avionics that you have previously ranked up carry a number next to their name and house icon. To be totally on the safe side leave one avionic of each type in your inventory on your first round of scrapping.
Best go back to rank up all the remaining avionics you want to use in the future. Then do a second round of scrapping that removes everything you have not ranked up and do not want to use in the future.
How to increase avionics capacity
The more of the higher rank avionics you equip the higher the drain on your avionics capacity will become. Your initial avionics capacity is 30 and it can be increased by equipping a better reactor.
MK1 reactors increase your avionic capacity by 10-25. The Sigma MK1 is on the lower end in this category. MK2 variants grant anywhere from 10-50 additional avionic capacity. The MK3 reactors seriously up your avionic capacity by 20-100.
Just like the avionics reactors can come from different houses and have a Sigma base variant. More on this further down when we take a look at your railjack components.
Difference between integrated, tactical and battle avionics
Avionics for your railjack come in three different categories: integrated, tactical and battle.
Integrated avionics are your passive buffs that increase health, armor, shield, speed and a few other defensive abilities. This is the largest category because you have 9 sockets in your grid. All integrated avionics come in multiple house variants. Thus having up to 4 different variants (Sigma, Lavan, Vidar, Zetki) of the same avionic.
Tactical avionics are your “in-railjack” support abilities. You can activate the abilities of your tactical avionics in mission by using the tactical view (press L on PC). They require flux energy to perform any of their tactical abilities. This energy is not restored automatically but needs to be build in the forge while on mission by a tenno with engineering intrinsic of at least 3.
Tactical avionics are rare and start dropping in Saturn Proxima. They drop in slightly higher number in Veil Proxima missions.
Battle avionics are exterior abilities that attack or compromise the enemies. Similar to tactical avionics they have to be activated in the tactical view and require flux energy to activate. You rely on regular replenishment of that energy in the forge by your squad mates.
Battle avionics can only be equipped in certain battle avionic slots. Munitions Vortex, Blackout Pulse and Countermeasures can only be equipped in the first slot. Tether, Particle Ram and Shatter Burst belong in the second slot. Seeker Volley, Void Hole and Fiery Phoenix are for your third slot. Using a battle avionic from slot 1 costs 25 flux energy, from slot 2 costs 50 flux energy and from slot 3 costs 100 flux energy.
The combination of Void Hole to suck all enemies in at one place and Particle Ram to deal continuous damage is a very popular strategy.
As battle avionics have a huge impact on the fight, they have very low drop rates from enemies in Veil Proxima. Both Battle and Tactical avionics have no house variants. That means they can be used and ranked up right away.
Best mandatory integrated avionics House listing
This is your shopping list for mandatory avionics to farm or to buy from other tenno. To make things easier only the best integrated avionic house variant, its max rank (R) and drain (D) is listed. The percent increase in square brackets represents a ranked up avionic on a rank 3 grid socket. Only the most useful avionics are listed here.
- Bulkhead, Zetki, D17, R7, +368% [+506%] health increase
- Hull Weave, Zetki, D13, R7, +184% [+253%] armor increase
- Maxima, Zetki, D13, R7, +52% [+71.5%] shield increase
- Anode Cell, Zetki, D9, R7, +56% [+77%] shield recharge
- Ion Burn, Lavan, D13, R7, +28.8% [+39.6%] boost speed increase
- Hyperflux, Zetki, D17, R7, +72% [+99%] increase flux energy
- Hyperstrike, Zetki, R7, D17, +88% [+121%] turret damage
- Polar Coil, Zetki, D11, R7, +48% [+66%] turret heat capacity
- Warhead, Zetki, D17, R7, +52% [+71.5%] ordnance damage
Components upgrades, random wreckage and inventory space
Now we head back to the first thing you see when you enter your railjack upgrade interface. It is the component upgrade UI where you can equip shield arrays, engines and reactors of your choice.
Acquisition of better components is the same for all components. You can either get MK1, MK2 or MK3 sigma variants from the dry dock research console in your dojo. Or you can repair wreckage with random stats in a certain range, similar to rivens, that is dropped in missions. Sigma variants are generally weaker that what drops as wreckage in missions.
Handling of wreckage works like a mix of classic blueprints and rivens. Building from wreckage is called repairing. Repairing wreckage requires many railjack mission specific resources and takes 12 hours. The random stats of wreckage limit your inventory space similar to riven inventory space. You have to regularly scrap wreckage to clear up you 30 wreckage inventory slots.
You can scrap your wreckage by using the scrap button in the lower right corner when you look at the wreckage. If you do not do that regularly you will miss out on lots of dirac and run the risk of not getting good drops because your inventory is full.
Your ultimate goal for every component has to be a proper MK3 house variant because they give additional randomly generated bonus stats. They range from fast shield regeneration, over auto repair to overshields for tenno using the slingshot.
Shield Array, best choice and avionics synergy
Your shield array is responsible for the “thickness” of your shields and how fast they regenerate. MK3 shields are the obvious category you should aim for because of the additional bonus stats.
House Lavan has the strongest shields but shield regeneration as well as time until shield regeneration starts is the longest from all three houses. House Zetki has the thinnest shields, even thinner than Sigma, but has the fastest shield regeneration and shortest waiting time until shield regeneration starts. House Vidar shield arrays provide the perfect middle ground and I would advised to use them. The Maxima and Anode Cell avionics provide a great synergy with your shields.
Don’t forget every wreckage you find has random parameters in a certain range. Even if you have settled for a shield array of one house, you might find a better wreckage of the same house later on. There is no upgrade path for better wreckage. You can only scrap and build wreckage.
Engines, best choice and avionic synergy
Engines provide an increase in movement speed in general and an additional boost speed increase. Like all other components you want to go for a house MK3 variant to gain access to bonus stats.
House Vidar has the overall highest speed increase of all engines but the lowest boost speed. House Lavan has the lowest speed increase but the highest boost speed. House Zetki engines provide a good middle ground. The current content of requires a more careful approach but fast maneuvers during battle. Most of your missions require a slow pace with sprints in between. That is why I would advise to use House Lavan engines. You can even further increase boost speed in synergy with the Ion Burn avionic.
And again a small warning that every wreckage you find has random parameters. You might find a better version of your engines along the way.
Reactors, best choice and avionic synergy
The third components are reactors. They increase avionics capacity as well as flux capacity. Here again, house MK3 variants are what you are looking for to make use of the additional bonus stats.
Reactors from House Vidar provide the highest avionic capacity but the smallest increase in flux capacity. On the opposite end are reactors from House Zetki that give a large increase in flux capacity but only a small increase in avionic capacity. The middle ground here are Lavan’s reactors.
For the time being I would advise to pick up a House Vidar reactor to make use of as much avionic capacity as possible. To compensate for lower flux capacity equip the Hyperflux avionic as synergy because it gives an almost 100% increase on a rank 3 grid socket.
Armament upgrades, wreckage and inventory
Armament contains your front turret, side turrets and the ordnances. The turrets work like the components from the previous chapter where you can get them in Sigma MK1, MK2 and MK3 variants from the Dry Dock research. Additionally, wreckage for turrets drops in missions. Turret wreckage also comes in three ranks, MK1, MK2 and MK3. And it comes from the houses of Lavan, Vidar and Zetki.
Ordnances in ranks MK1, MK2 and MK3 can only be acquired from the dry dock research console. Currently there are no house variants of ordnances.
Front and side turrets
All turrets can be equipped at front for the pilot to use or at the side for non-pilots. In addition to sigma turrets there are also House Lavan, House Vidar and House Zetki variants to build from wreckage that drops in missions. Like components your goal is to have MK3 rank turrets because they are the biggest damage dealers.
House Zetki turret variants have the highest status but tend to overheat very fast. I would not advise to use them. House Lavan with the second highest status turret and good accuracy is a solid choice for all turrets.
Turret wreckage you do not use to build a turret should be scrap’ed for dirac as soon as possible because inventory space for all wreckage is very limited.
On top of house variants and ranks you have different types of turrets:
- Apoc, auto-cannon with mediocre particle (slash) damage, good range and slow projectile flight speed
- Carcinnox, auto-cannon with mediocre chem (toxin) damage, good range and high projectile flight speed
- Cryophon, powerful wide angle but low range single shot with (cold) damage, very slow projectile flight speed
- Photor, medium damage continuous dual laser beam with incendiary (heat) damage and low range
- Pulsar, Hit scan burst shots that deal ionic (electric) damage with low fire rate and low range
For the front turret Lavan Cryophon MK3 or Lavan Apoc MK3 are very popular. This is a personal choice of the railjack owner. You either prefer slow but powerful shots the Cryphon does or machine gun style Apoc gunning with less punch.
For most of us the side turrets will be manned by guest tenno in public missions. Not everybody can handle slow single shot turret or has the proper gunnery intrinsic to reduce overheating. But machine gun style turrets that overheat very slowly are self-explanatory for new players or players with bad aim. I suggest Lavan Carcinnox MK3 or Lavan Apoc MK3 for side turrets.
These are the additional “big guns” you can use when you pilot your railjack. They are your weapon of choice against big crew ships are a cluster of ships. MK1 and MK2 ranks can be neglected because they do not have enough damage against strong enemy ships. You should only go for MK3 variants.
Milati is a swarm of rockets, like a Russian Katjuscha but for space. You aim in a general direction and hope that due to the large number of rockets something eventually hits an enemy.
Galvarc is a hitscan laser similar to Flux Rifle. It can chain up to 3 enemies that are close to each but has very low damage output.
The Tycho Seeker is a heat seeking rocket that does large amounts of damage against a single target. A Tycho Seeker MK3 will help you take down crew ships from a distance. It is the most useful ordnance at the moment.
Keep in mind that ordnance has only limited ammunition and has to be replenished in the forge in mission. Only tenno with Intrinsic engineer rank 3 and up can build ordnance ammunition in the forge. You will require a more seasoned crew to properly restock ordnance.
Payload is your off-mission forge. The main difference is that is works instantly compared to the in-mission building time. Here you can restock all in-mission consumables to have a good head start once you enter the mission.
Revolite is the resource you need for your Omni Tool when you repair any form of damage. You can access your Omni Tool from your gear wheel. Always remember to stock up revolite before a mission and regularly check in mission if new revolite is needed. Building new revolite takes around 2 minutes but a red breach will that is not fixed in 60 seconds will destroy our ship.
Flux Energy is used when you use battle or tactical avionics. You need to keep an eye on that if you are using powerful battle avionics as they draw lots of flux energy.
Munitions are your ordnance. Restocking in mission is painfully slow process. So, pick the targets for your “big gun” wisely.
Dome Charge is the dome cannon that you can access behind the pilot (see image above). Shooting the dome cannon is tricky because it requires your railjack to stand still for the last second of the charging process. Restocking dome charges has the lowest priority.
Intrinsics, best early and late game ranks
Intrinsic are linear skill trees that you can progress through by spending intrinsic points. The points work similar to syndicate affinity. The more tasks you perform on missions the more intrinsic gain you acquire. At the end of the mission you are awarded intrinsic points that you can spend on the individual trees.
There are five intrinsics but only 4 of them are currently available for rank up. The rank up curve is moderate for the first 5 ranks but gets very steep towards the end but. You need to spend 63 intrinsic points to get to any rank 6. But you need to spend 960 intrinsic points to get from rank 6 to rank 10.
For any intrinsic you can preview the abilities or buff by right clicking on the corresponding intrinsic window. You can upgrade any intrinsic by holding the left mouse button; Thus spending intrinsic points.
To be a useful crew member try to get to these intrinsic ranks in this order as fast as possible:
Gunnery 4 because rank 3 allows you to use the archwing slingshot and rank 4 allows you to directly shoot into a crew ship. Taking out crew ships should always be a priority and the slingshot allows extremely fast deployment.
Tactical 4 because rank 3 lets you fast travel on the railjack and rank 4 allows you to use your omni tool to “beam” back to your railjack when you in archwing, ground mission or aboard a crew ship.
Using the slingshot to get onboard a crew ship, taking out the reactor and the use the omni tool to “beam” back to your railjack is a solid strategy.
Engineering 4 because only with rank 1 you become useful in fast repairing railjack damage. Rank 2 and 3 will allow you to forge flux energy and ordnance ammunition. Rank 4 makes you more efficient when forging; that means you gain more resources at the end of the mission instead of spending them in the forge.
Piloting 3 because rank 2 allows to “strafe” your railjack, called vector maneuver. And rank 3 removes any enemy weapon lock-ons while you are strafing.
Your long term goal should be for Tactical 8, Piloting 8, Gunnery 8 and Engineering 9.
Boosters that are recommended with railjack
From the 5 different booster we currently have in Warframe three are absolutely worth using depending on what you want to achieve.
Affinity booster & Smeeta Kavat for Intrinsic gain
Intrinsics work like syndicate standing. You can double you intrinsic gain on each mission with an affinity booster. A Smeeta Kavat that provides an affinity boost will also double your gain while her buff is active. You will get rewarded intrinsics for completing your mission.
But you can gain additional intrinsic affinity by doing mundane tasks on the railjack. These tasks are fixing hull breaches (900 affinity), hull ruptures (600 affinity), putting out fires (600 affinity) or defeating boarding parties (600 affinity). All those numbers will be doubled by an affinity booster or with an active Smeeta Kavat buff.
Mod drop chance booster for more avionics
You can double the drop chance of avionics by using a mod drop chance booster. One per squad will effect all squad drops.
Resource booster for double resource drops
As you need many resources to components and armaments from wreckage a resource booster is very helpful. It will double any resource drop for you.
Best railjack upgrade strategy
The best strategy to upgrade your railjack is actually the laziest strategy. Do not use your own railjack unless you got the best of everything. You always join up other crews and do missions with them. You collect resources, your collect affinity, you collect avionics and wreckage. Sell off every wreckage not MK3 and keep the upper limit of 30 wreckage in mind. Scrap every avionic that is not the best of its category. Invest in intrinsics and learn how to do the missions. – Then build all the MK3 parts you need, rank up the avionics, equip everything and use your railjack for Veil missions and whatever is beyond.
Make up your mind if you want to go the lazy but fast route or if you want to experience a gradual progression through MK1, MK2 and MK3 tiers.
Railjack combines many mechanics that are new to Warframe. It introduces a large number of new resources, mods called avionics and upgrade parts called wreckage. It is meant to entertain you through many hours of your Warframe late game. It will take you some time to fully grasp all systems involved. This guide will be updated according to future changes of railjack.